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We can’t pray as there is no water, say Orangi residents

SAMAA | and - Posted: Jun 4, 2018 | Last Updated: 4 years ago
Posted: Jun 4, 2018 | Last Updated: 4 years ago

Karachi slum residents shout slogans against water and power shortage. Photo: AFP

Residents of Orangi Town say they can’t pray in Ramazan as there is no water to wash oneself.

“I collect water from the filter plants for making my sehri,” said one woman. “Sometimes I get it, sometimes not even a drop.”

Orangi residents pay up to Rs3,000 for water tanker service. Women say they have to step out to collect a gallon or two for cooking and washing. “Is it sufficient?” said one woman. “We are fed up of this government. They come in big cars to get votes. And then they leave us on the roads.”

Children also shouted slogans in a protest in the area. “Pani do, Pani do [Give us water],” they said.

A similar situation persists in Surjani Town Sector 7-C. Taps run dry at houses. Instead, they collect water from a reverse-osmosis (RO) plant.

“These RO plant companies are stealing our water,” said one man. “And then they sell our water to us. The RO plant official verbally abused us and our elders when we confronted them.”

Even when supply resumes in the area, the water is brackish. Skin allergies are common in the area because of the quality of water.

United Nations Development Programme and Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources reports say Pakistan will reach absolute water scarcity by the year 2025. Water shortage is common in Pakistan, especially in port city Karachi, where summer months bring about increased power cuts coupled with severe water shortage. Heatwaves aggravate the situation and protests often break out over water deprivation in poor neighbourhoods. On Monday, the Chief Justice said that finding a solution to the country’s water crisis is the Supreme Court’s top priority now.

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